The Nashville Predators landed three representatives at the 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend taking place in Ottawa later this month. The All-Star Game itself falls on Sunday, January 29, and Preds captain Shea Weber and his partner in crime Ryan Suter will carry the banner for Nashville, while Craig Smith has been named to the group of 12 rookies who will participate in the SuperSkills competition on Saturday.
On Thursday, January 26, another All-Star Fantasy Draft will be held, in which the players will be split between the two teams. Last year, Weber was the 8th-overall choice (and 2nd defenseman after Zdeno Chara), and enjoyed a standout performance which included a 2nd-place finish in the Hardest Shot Competition. This will be his 3rd appearance at the event.
#6 / Defenseman / Nashville Predators
Aug 14, 1985
|2011 - Shea Weber||38||9||21||30||13||26||5||1||1||117||7.6|
Ryan Suter is having his best year as a pro, and currently ranks 8th among all NHL defensemen in scoring. This is his first selection for the All-Star Game.
#20 / Defenseman / Nashville Predators
Jan 21, 1985
|2011 - Ryan Suter||42||5||20||25||8||26||3||1||1||82||6.0|
Despite a goal-scoring drought, Smith still stands 3rd in rookie scoring behind Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of Edmonton, and the Devils' Adam Henrique.
#15 / Center / Nashville Predators
Sep 05, 1989
|2011 - Craig Smith||42||9||17||26||-6||22||5||0||0||114||7.8|
The complete list of participants can be found at NHL.com.
So, any surprising omissions here? I know many will tout Pekka Rinne as being overlooked, but outside of Wins he's pretty much in the middle of the pack everywhere else.
For me, perhaps the most interesting bit about this story is the prospect of seeing Suter & Weber line up on opposite teams in this game. Hopefully that's not a preview of things to come...